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Card Will Yield Savings Ranging from 5 to 40% on Prescription Drugs

The following news release was issued today by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's press office: 

LOS ANGELES - Mayor Villaraigosa launched the LARx Prescriptions Savings Card Program, a City-wide card program that will provide discounts on all pharmaceutical medications and will be open to all interested individuals with no age, income or other eligibility restrictions.

“We still have a long way to go before we can claim fair, equal, and quality health care for all Americans,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “However, I hope that this card makes it easier for Angelenos to get their prescriptions without having to make a difficult decision between buying a medicine that they need and putting food on the table.”

Mayor Villaraigosa introduced the “LARx Plan Prescription Bulk Purchasing Consortium Motion” in November 2004 while he was a member of the City Council. After a comprehensive selection process, the Mayor’s office chose the pharmacy benefit management company Envision Pharmaceutical Services to develop, implement and manage the prescription drug discount card program.

Through the LARx program, cardholders’ savings will range from 5 - 40 percent, depending on the type of prescription. There are no enrollment fees for the LARx cards, and they will be available via Envision through their network of over 1,500 participating retail pharmacies. Additionally, the Mayor’s Office is making the cards available at key public locations throughout the City including each library branch, all of the recreation and park facilities (recreation, senior and community centers) and the multi-purpose senior centers run by the Department of Aging. The LARx program will have a 24-hour customer service hotline that will be made available for direct support in English, Spanish and other languages.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the City of Los Angeles to provide as many people as possible the best pharmacy discounts available,” Envision CEO Kevin Nagle said. “LARx is an example of the power a community can have over drug pricing when it comes together.”

Envision has already implemented similar programs with the Ohio Best Rx Program, Florida Best Rx Program and a nation-wide private program titled WoRx Discount Card. The Ohio and Florida programs have eligibility requirements based on age and income and are open to residents without prescription drug insurance coverage. The LARx program is first of its kind because it will be open to anyone who refills their prescription in Los Angeles without eligibility requirements. Also, the card can be used outside of LA with any of Envision's participating pharmacies.

“Los Angeles is now the gold standard among major American cities in creating big savings on prescription drugs for the insured and underinsured simply by using its size and buying power,” Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said. “Every other major metropolitan area should now follow Mayor Villaraigosa's lead and helped beleaguered patients with free discounts that are bigger than Costco and other buying clubs.”

To print the card or for more information about drug pricing, please visit the website: www.forlarx.com.